It’s become something of a novelty to run a car this long, since we’re normally chopping and changing cars every year, but there’s something about Audi’s TT that makes it feel both timeless and unbreakable.

Part of the reason why our TT still looks so fresh is down to the Ventureshield paint protection it received when new. This covers the front-bumper, wing-mirrors, front-wings and half of the bonnet and remains virtually untainted five-and-a-half years later.

Of course we’ve had our fair share of problems – the odd bit of squeaking trim, the near-side front speaker which buzzed at certain frequencies and of course the TT’s infamous faux par – the failure of its window regulator mechanism – which Audi continue to drag their feet on and let customers suffer away in silence (customers aren’t really silent, but like the tree that falls in the woods, if nobody hears it, then perhaps it didn’t really happen…)

SEE ALSO: Final Report: Audi TT 2.0 TFSi – window regulator problems solved!

The Facts

Model:  Audi TT 2.0 TFSi (197 bhp)
Age:  2007 (5.5 years)
Mileage:  64,483
Colour:  Brilliant Red
Gearbox:  Manual
Price when new:  £31,250
Value now:  £11,200
Fuel economy:  29-34mpg (average)

If you’ve come across this post without discovering our previous running reports, then you can catch up on the TT’s most bothersome issue here.

In the 12 months since our driver-side window regulator failed it hasn’t let us down again, while the passenger-side has thus far remained glitch free. In the interim we’ve been contacted by more than 60 owners who’ve all experienced the same issue, so if you own a TT (or are considering buying one) make sure you read up on the issue and set your expectations accordingly.

During the last year, our TT has received a fresh set of Michelin Pilot 2 Sports (the OEM fitment) received a new set of front-brake pads (the third set in its lifetime) and is currently in the custody of Vindis Audi Huntingdon having its cam belts replaced.

We’ve also experienced a Xenon light failure (last October) – cost to replace £154 (parts) plus £12 (fitting) and finally got around to replacing the near-side DRL – cost to replace £20 (parts) plus some DIY finger-gymnastics. I’ll outline the main steps for changing the TT’s sidelights (below).

Otherwise as we near 65,000 miles, the rear suspension bushes need replacing as do the rear brake pads.

I’m sure some of you might dismiss the TT as a non-drivers car, but in its favour is a light kerb weight (1315kg) and incredibly well balanced controls. Provided you drive within its limits, it remains eager to turn-in, surprisingly quick (for a mere 200bhp) and reasonably economical (with a best run of 40.9 mpg on a long motorway journey).

Nearly six years on and the TT remains beautifully built (apart from a few glitches), easy to live with and a regular recipient of admiring glances. As a driver’s car it falls short of any comparable BMW, but it does nothing badly and feels just as well screwed together as it did when new.

audi-quattro-concept-blend2010 Audi quattro concept.

There’s a new TT coming in 2014 (likely to make its first appearance at the Frankfurt show in September) which I suspect will tempt us to buy another. The third-generation TT will be lighter (built on VW Group’s MQB platform), faster and inspired by the design of the Audi quattro concept.

It might even drive like a sportscar, which is the one thing missing from the current generation model.

Change a (DRL) light bulb – the easy way..

  • TIME REQUIRED: 10-15 minutes

As with most DIY jobs on the TT, you’ll need to remove a section of the car in order to gain access. In this case you’ll be removing the complete headlight unit, which is the only way to gain access to the side-light and main Xenon headlight unit. Ensure the ignition is off, and if you’re feeling really cautious disconnect the battery too.

TT-RunningReport-01There are ‘four’ screws to undo before you can slide the TT’s headlight assembly out. First remove the plastic cover (A) in order to get to the screw below. You’ll need a set of Torx-head screwdrivers or a socket-set with the appropriate torx bits.

  • TT-RunningReport-02Undo the torx-head screw (A) but you don’t need to remove it completely – the headlight unit will slide out as long as this has been loosened.
  • TT-RunningReport-04Undo this screw (B) and completely remove.
  • TT-RunningReport-05Also completely remove this screw (C).
  • TT-RunningReport-03 And finally, loosen but don’t remove this screw (D) – this is another slide connection.

TT-RunningReport-10You should now have the following – three screws and the replacement light bulb.

  • TT-RunningReport-06Now slide the headlight unit out.
  • TT-RunningReport-07Flip it over on its back and disconnect from its power supply. Now remove the weather protector to gain access to the bulb.
  • TT-RunningReport-08Pinch with your fingers and slide out the bulb holder.
  • TT-RunningReport-09Gently twist the bulb to remove it from the container.

Now fit the replacement bulb and reassemble the headlight unit in reverse order, making sure you’ve fitted it back in the same position.

Congratulations, you’ve just replaced your sidelight bulb like a champ..

Written By

Steve Davies

Steve is an investor, private equity advisor and former Partner at KPMG, PwC and Bain.   Most importantly he's a life-long car enthusiast, mountain biker and active sports enthusiast. He designs and builds technology platforms and is the architect behind Transmission.

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